MARCH 2012

COVER STORY
 
Referendums continue to find success, but it’s not an easy road
By Alex Roman, Managing Editor

While 79% of state and local ballot measures to boost transportation passed in 2011, many are fighting an uphill battle. In Atlanta, a major ballot measure looks to fund a wide-ranging transportation plan, including $3.2 billion for public transit.



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Features

New Rail Projects Accelerate Their Pace Again

The easing of the fiscal crisis has produced a situation where many deferred or stretched-out projects are now scheduled for service openings in the next two years.



Transit moves to open fare payment

While the technology is still evolving, transit systems are hoping to outsource collection activities, reduce risk, and refocus time and effort on meeting their core goal: transporting people.



FMCSA Begins Query Into Hours-of-Service

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s quest to make motorcoach travel safer, the FMCSA has begun conducting listening sessions to solicit concepts, ideas and information. The first such session was held at the ABA’s Marketplace in January.



Legislative and Regulatory Update

A whole host of new regulations and possible legislation are on the horizon for motorcoach operators. METRO spoke to the ABA's Norm Littler and UMA's Ken Presley to find out the latest on some of the issues.

Small agencies struggle with funding, legislation

Restrictive legislation, dwindling funds and growing paratransit needs are some of the issues that agencies serving small populations share. New legislation may offer some help.



Inventory Management: How Stock-Out Risks Drive Inefficient Transit Parts Programs

Overstocking to ensure rush hour demands are met leads to higher upfront overhead costs and increases obsolete inventory when fleets are retired.



Tech improves efficiency, reduces costs for mobile surveillance

As technology continues to improve, so does mobile surveillance operability. Learn how developments on the horizon in camera use, DVRs, Wi-Fi and information systems will help fleets — both large and small — increase efficiency.

DEPARTMENTS

House, Senate advance authorization bills, expose vast chasm

In early February, House T&I Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) and members of the committee held a press conference to unveil its five-year, $260 billion transportation authorization proposal.



OCTA’s ‘quiet zone’ rail program enhances safety, quality of life

Orange County (Calif.) Transportation Authority’s quiet zone program work included the enhancement of 52 railroad crossings and helped silence train horns for local communities.

World’s longest guided busway opens in UK

Since August 2011, passengers have been riding comfortable, well-appointed buses that can attain speeds of 60 miles per hour on the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.



U. of Alabama grows fleet to keep pace with student population

Celebrating its fifth year, the University of Alabama’s Crimson Ride transit service recently signed a contract with Nova Bus for two buses per year over a five-year span to both replace vehicles and expand services.

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Factors in Transit Bus Ramp Slope and Wheelchair-Seated Passenger Safety Nearly 3 million U.S. adults are wheelchair or scooter users1, and as the population ages this number is expected to rise. Many wheelchair users rely upon public transportation to access work, medical care, school and social activities.

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